Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Update on the campaign to save The Glebe on Prentis Road

The South London Press have now run a front-page story on the campaign to Save The Glebe, on Prentis Road. (You can see the background to the campaign here).

The picture is of some of The Glebe residents we have been working with, which was taken after we met with them again last week.

Lots of local shops and businesses have now taken our 'Save the Glebe' posters and petition. The signatures on the online and paper petitions combined have now passed the 1,000 mark, which is fantastic.

We are pleased also to report that two out of three local Lib Dem councillors have now agreed to support the campaign. (Glebe residents say they initially approached them a few months ago, but sadly they did nothing to help).

The deadline to respond to Lambeth Council's consultation on their plans is 7th June. So if you haven't already done so, please sign the online petition here.

Friday, 24 May 2013

Event at the Hyderi Centre following the Woolwich murder

There was an important event last night at the Hyderi Islamic Centre on Estreham Road.

It was put on to discuss responses to Wednesday's killing in Woolwich, and was open to the local community. The Centre deserve great credit in showing leadership and initiative by organising it. Not only did this send an important and unequivocal signal of condemnation for what happened in Woolwich, but it went much further. It moved beyond the bland platitudes and simplistic commentary that we have seen in a lot of public debate in the last two days.

What I will take away with me is a feeling from both the platform and the several hundred people who were in attendance, that "business as usual" was not an option, but that there needed to be a clear commitment to non-violence and building peace, as well as understanding the reasons behind what happened. There was also a feeling that more needs to be done in breaking down the barriers between communities (at both the local and national level) and challenging stereotypes. The diversity of opinions expressed was also refreshing, as well as the open and frank discussion. This was a strength, rather than a weakness, demonstrating well that we need a grown up and challenging public conversation in the coming days, weeks, months and years, rather than a weak and simplistic display of monochrome unity which will do nothing to help move things forward.

It would be difficult to do justice here to the many important points that were made, but you can see the Hyderi Centre twitter feed to get a flavour of the things that were said and discussed.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Children have near misses at junction of Mitcham Lane and Ambleside Avenue

Several children heading to St Leonard's Primary School this morning had near misses with traffic at the junction of Mitcham Lane and Ambleside Avenue.

The reason is that the "green man" on the four pedestrian crossings there is not coming on. Children are therefore having to guess when it is safe to cross, as the "red man" shows constantly. This means that children are having to cross the road at one point effectively blind to whether traffic is about to come around the corner, on their way to and from St Leonard's Primary School. Some of the older children are often unaccompanied by adults.

We have contacted Transport for London to sort it out urgently and asked the local Safer Neighbourhood Team if they can do anything to help while we wait for Transport for London to take action.

This is a junction where there have been two deaths over the years, and which we have been campaigning to make safer. Buses frequently jump the lights. Children and parents from the school held a demonstration there last year. Transport for London have agreed to review the junction this summer and make changes.

There's a video of the junction here (when the 'Green Man' was working normally on the crossings):

[Update 3.00pm The problem has now been fixed]

Monday, 20 May 2013

High Road Update - greenery but no dedicated cycle lanes, no 20 mph limit, no widened pavements

The local community forum, Streatham Action, has organised a public meeting on Tuesday 21st May to discuss the upcoming changes to Streatham High Road.

This summer sees a great opportunity to improve the High Road, make it greener, less dominated by traffic, noise and air pollution, and a generally more pleasant place to live, work and shop.

The major change is that the planters are set to be removed between Woodbourne Avenue and Streatham Hill Station. This was decided in the Streatham Masterplan in 2009. Since then (for the last four years) Transport for London have left them completely untended because they did not want to invest any money given that the planters were due to be taken out.

In their place, the good news is that trees will be put in (there was some concern that this would not happen). The recent drilling of holes on the High Road was to explore whether there was enough space to plant them avoiding utilities. Having chatted to the engineers there, the news appears to be good. Tfl have confirmed, through London Assembly member Darren Johnson's office, that they will replace lost greenery and plant at least 20 trees. We are pushing for more.

The work is being paid for by the Mayor of London's Outer London Fund and Lambeth Council are responsible for public consultation on the project. However it looks as if the consultation period will be very short (if there is any formal consultation at all). The plans are about to be announced, but we gather the following decisions have been made by Lambeth Council and Transport for London...

- There will be no dedicated cycle lanes, despite requests from cyclists. Instead TfL and Lambeth Council have decided to widen the bus lane to 4.5m and cyclists will be expected to travel in that.

- The trees that will be put in will be of a different variety to the ones put in outside the Odeon when the first phase of work was done, and a lot less expensive. It has emerged that the trees outside the Odeon cost around £6,000 each. The new trees will be around £250 each, and better suited to the central area of the High Road.

- In addition to the 4.5m bus lane, there will be one other lane of traffic along this section of road. In sections however, there will be some additional lanes to facilitate turning into side roads.

- A 20mph limit will not be introduced to ease the "stop-start" traffic on the High Road, help traffic flow, and reduce collisions and their seriousness as well as easing noise and air pollution. Lambeth Council have told us that they were won over to the idea. The block on this however has come from Transport for London.

- There will be no pavement widening in this stretch, even though many local people have requested it. Instead the central platform remaining in the middle of the road will be widened where possible.

- The road area will be resurfaced when the works are complete. There will also be some repaving along this section of the High Road.

Although there may be some progress in the right direction, there is a feeling from many people that this could be a huge missed opportunity to do more unless people make their feelings knows to Lambeth Council and TfL.

More details should be forthcoming at the public meeting this Tuesday 21st May, which takes places at 7.00pm at St Leonard's Church. All are welcome to attend.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

New trees at the bottom of Lewin Road?

Following a request from local residents, we have asked TfL if they can put two new trees in the spaces at the end of Lewin Road where it meets Streatham High Road.

Lambeth Council has cut its tree budget so isn't planting any new trees. But because these trees are on a Red Route, they come under Transport for London. TfL have checked and confirmed that they do have responsibility for them.

They have now promised that they "will have them investigated to check that they are viable, and if so will ensure that they are replanted between October and March."

Saturday, 18 May 2013

More graffiti reported north of the Potters Lane tunnel

We had quite a bit of success getting the Potters Lane tunnel cleaned of graffiti over the last few months. This is the tunnel by Streatham Common Station which links Conyers Road and Gleneagle Road to the Ferrer's Triangle and Estreham Road.

We have been keeping a regular eye on it and asking Lambeth Council to remove graffiti as and when it occurs.

We have reported some additional graffiti which has appeared on the North Side of the tunnel, by the Youth Centre.

Friday, 17 May 2013

Turning the lights off, on Streatham Green

We have reported previously on the problem on Streatham Green, when someone stole all the light sensors and the lights weren't coming on at night.

Since then, the lights have been changed. But there is now the opposite problem, with the lights staying on during the day! We have contacted Lambeth Council once again, and asked them to investigate and sort the problem out.

We have now been told that repairs have been "commissioned" and "the repairs will be carried out with our contractor. We anticipate this work to be complete within one week." This was on the 9th May. The lights are still on during the day, and we are chasing once again.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Graffiti on Pathfield Road

We have reported the graffiti on Pathfield Road and asked the council to remove it, most notably outside number 94 and also 25a - 29c.

There is also graffiti opposite number 17 Pathfield Road on the white building site boards for Pathfield House, on the red post box outside number 54 Pathfield Road and on a council recycling bin outside 23a-26c Pathfield Road.

We will put a note around to local people and follow up in a few days a make sure that it has been done.

[Update 7th June: We have done a follow up inspection and the graffiti has been removed]

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Graffiti removed from Moorcroft Road, Mount Ephraim Lane and Broadlands Avenue

There seems to be quite a bit of tagging and other graffiti appearing in the area south of Streatham Hill. We sent pictures to Lambeth Council with the locations and asked them to remove it. We are pleased to say this has now been done in:

Mount Ephraim Lane:

Moorcroft Road:

Broadlands Avenue:

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Streatham young entrepreneurs 'Dragons Den' event

The Hideaway and the Streatham Business Network will be hosting and presenting the first ever Streatham Youth Entrepreneurs Dragons Den event on the evening of the 5th of June at the Hideaway Jazz Club, 2 Empire Mews, Streatham SW16 2BF.

The event will bring together the local South London business community to celebrate local school children and their vision and aspirations as entrepreneurs, and their flair at innovation, as they pitch to our Dragons and compete for a Grand Prize on the night.

The children, all of whom attend local schools will pitch to our Dragons either as individuals or in teams. The evening will provide them with an opportunity to present their business ideas to a panel of experienced and successful business leaders and the wider business community and compete for a prize for the best overall combination of business plan and presentation.

Teams and individuals age 18 and under, who attend school in the area, have submitted their business plans to the panel and the 5 best plans have been selected to participate on the evening. The winning individual/team will receive a £500 prize; there will be a £300 2nd Prize and a £200 3rd prize. All the teams will be awarded commendations for their achievement on the evening.

The Streatham and wider South London business community is also being invited to come out support the young people, have a 2-course meal and do some great business networking on the evening.

Tickets for the evening can be purchased online here

Monday, 13 May 2013

A week to respond to the consultation on the new space for Streatham - Tudor Hall at Streatham Library

Streatham Tate Library has been welcoming the Streatham community since 1890. With support from the Mayor’s Outer London Fund, Lambeth Council intends to invest in the Streatham Tate Library, to ensure it can continue to welcome existing and new readers for many years to come.

As part of this the building behind the Library - Tudor Hall - will also be brought back into use for the people of Streatham. Originally built as a schoolroom, the Tudor Hall offers floorspace of 16m by 7m and could comfortably seat up to 120 people, with a self-catering space created alongside the main hall.

There is now a chance to have your say in the future use of the building. Clicking on this link will take you to an on-line questionnaire about the future of the Streatham Tate Library. It’s quick and easy to complete. But if you want to have your say you need to complete the questionnaire by Monday 20 May.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Greyhound Lane Bridge opening

Scott and I went down to the Greyhound Lane Bridge opening today (just to make sure it really did open as planned!)

When we heard it was opening we put a thousand or so letters around to local people and businesses to make sure they knew it was happening two months ahead of schedule.

At the opening we met with local campaigner Anthony Ellis who has done so much for local residents and businesses during the bridge closure, and has been key in maintaining the pressure on Network Rail, TfL and the Council to get the bridge back open as soon as possible.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Please sign the petition to stop elderly residents being pushed out of The Glebe sheltered housing

Please take a few seconds to sign this petition to stop elderly residents being removed from their homes in The Glebe at the top of Prentis Road.

The residents – many in their Eighties and Nineties – contacted us last week and asked us if we would help support their campaign to stay where they live. We went to visit them and heard about was is going on.

Lambeth Council is proposing to evict them in order to knock The Glebe down and redevelop it as ‘Extra Care’ housing. This is part of a Lambeth wide scheme in which housing for older persons will be sold off.

This is something to which the residents of The Glebe are unanimously opposed. Under the Council’s proposals the 60 residents - some of whom are terminally ill - would be split up and placed in accommodation outside Streatham. Many have lived in The Glebe for over a decade.

Residents have told us how happy they are with their homes and the facilities there. Many have invested their own time and money. They love where they live. Above all they value these sense of community, where they look after and support one other. Under the Council’s plans this would all be taken away and they will be dispersed to other parts of the borough.

They also pointed out that moving them to alternative accommodation at their stage in life, particularly given many of their health concerns, would also have very serious consequences.

They asked up to start an online petition, which we have done, and help get public support so that they can stay where they are. There is a public consultation going on so there is a real chance to stop this happening. Please take just a few seconds to sign the petition online to show Lambeth Council that the local community supports their desire to stay in their own homes.

The petition can be found here.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Review won at junction of Mitcham Lane and Ambleside Avenue

Last year children and parents from St Leonard’s School took part in a demonstration at the corner of Mitcham Lane and Ambleside Avenue. We called on Transport for London (TfL) to look at ways to make the junction safer. This is part of an ongoing campaign at this junction.

There was some press coverage which helped to show TfL the strength of feeling and that local people wanted something done.

We are pleased to report that TfL were in touch with us over Easter. They have now scheduled a full review of the junction. TfL have told us they will be working with cycling, road user and safety organisations to improve the junction as part of its Better Junctions programme.

The review has been scheduled for the summer. TfL will then produce a number of potential options for improvements, which will be considered by a Design Review Group. The ideas will then be developed in more detail for public consultation.

TfL have told us that they “will be looking to improve provision for cyclists and other vulnerable road users, including pedestrians, and pedestrian countdown signals will be considered as part of the process.”

Thank you to everyone who has helped make this happen. We will provide an update when proposals are brought forward for public consultation. In the meantime, if you would like to see more about TfL’s Better Junction’s Programme you can see more here.